Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Punch-Drunk Love (2002) — Adam Sandler plays a socially dysfunctional man with occasional outbursts of anger who successfully courts a woman too attractive for him. When phrased that way, it sounds like most Adam Sandler movies. Indeed Punch-Drunk Love was written for Sandler, but the person doing the writing was Paul Thomas Anderson so this film is something else altogether. It’s hard to describe this movie but I definitely dug it. While I think I’m much better at dealing with people than Sandler’s character Barry, he has one line where he says he doesn’t know if there’s anything wrong with him because he doesn’t know how other people are. That really struck a nerve with me so from that point on I was with him for the rest of the movie. Sandler shows a different level of acting ability never really displayed before, even if he is just doing an “artsier” version of his usual persona. There’s a lot of off-kilter humor in this movie and the music by Jon Brion is great. I’m sure this film has a limited audience but I find myself very much within its limits.

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